For the bendy generalist. Namaste, JollyGens!
Yoga over the last decade has grown in popularity exponentially across North America. A 2016 survey conducted by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal (carried out by Ipsos Public Affairs) reports the yoga industry in the United States at $16B, up from $10B in 2012. Studios continue to pop up in neighbourhoods from coast to coast and it appears that there are no signs of slowing.
So why is this practice so popular? Below are five benefits of practicing yoga:
As expected, yoga helps with flexibility and range of motion. By stretching and holding various poses the muscles loosen up and with regular practice, the body will begin to notice increased flexibility.
While many perceive yoga as a relaxing and restorative practice, depending on the type of practice and teacher, yoga can actually work up quite a sweat. Power yoga, in particular, is known to be a quicker, high-intensity practice that works on building muscle. Often the result is leaner, tones muscle rather than bulky muscle.
As discussions around mental health develop, new and thoughtful methods for handling and improving mental wellness are gaining attention. Yoga is a safe outlet for feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression as the breathing practice helps to bring center and awareness to the body’s natural state. By focusing on one’s breathing, other thoughts gradually dissipate and one is left feeling calm and in control.
Whether or not you are a spiritual person, yoga offers a sense of connectedness with yourself and others. Both mentally and physically, your body connects to the mind as much as it connects to the floor and a sense of oneness is the result. You begin to gain greater respect and appreciation for those around you as you begin to understand that we are all in this together.
Every yogi has to start from somewhere. Nerves and inferiority are often felt when first starting yoga as it opens the mind and body to a place of openness, trust, and vulnerability. By opening oneself up in that way though it not only allows for growth and development, it ultimately fosters a place for confidence to grow.